Warning: this story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead series finale, "Rest in Peace." The story of Rick Grimes and Michonne outlived The Walking Dead — and it's far from over. Sunday's series finale wrapped up the AMC zombie drama after 11 seasons, ending with the returns of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) in a coda doubling as the first look at the Rick & Michonne spin-off coming to AMC in 2023. The all-new series, which reunites Rick and Michonne for an "epic love story" that will reveal what happened to Rick after he disappeared and Michonne's search to find him, is a creative effort between the two actors and showrunner Scott M. Gimple.
"Gimple, myself, and Andy have been working over the last year, year-and-a-half or so, really building up the story and how we complete the story of Rick and Michonne," Gurira said Sunday on Talking Dead following The Walking Dead finale. "We gave you a little taste of the beginnings of what's happening, a hint of what's to come [in Rick & Michonne]."
Plot details remain largely under wraps. According to an AMC synopsis, the series "presents an epic love story of two characters changed by a changed world. Kept apart by distance. By an unstoppable power. By the ghosts of who they were. Rick and Michonne are thrown into another world, built on a war against the dead... And ultimately, a war against the living. Can they find each other and who they were in a place and situation unlike any they've ever known before? Are they enemies? Lovers? Victims? Victors? Without each other, are they even alive — or will they find that they, too, are the Walking Dead?"
"It's fun and a ton of work, but I'm really excited," said Gurira, who also serves as writer and executive producer. "I think it's gonna come together in a really awesome way, and I think folks are gonna like it."
In Lincoln's first episode since 2018 and Gurira's first since 2020, the two partners are separated by distance and time. Last we saw them, the presumed-dead Rick vanished aboard a CRM helicopter, and Michonne was headed north trailing a lead after discovering evidence Rick was alive.
More than six in-universe years after the CRM abducted Rick, flying him away to the Civic Republic in Philadelphia, it would appear Rick is a prisoner working for a walker-culling facility as seen on The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Meanwhile, Michonne is again a lone katana-wielding warrior, wearing battle-ready armor as she tries to fulfill a promise: to bring Rick home to their children, Rick Jr. (Antony Azor) and Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming).
The first season of The Walking Dead: Rick & Michonne is slated to premiere with six episodes in late 2023 on AMC and AMC+. Stay tuned to ComicBook/TWD and follow @CameronBonomolo and @NewsOfTheDead on Twitter for more TWD Universe coverage.